Springfield Thunderbirds raise awareness for cancer through ‘No Shave November’

Hampden County

The Springfield Thunderbirds joined a national movement to fight cancer.

Taking it all off for a good cause… beards that is. Thunderbirds players went back to being clean shaven Thursday night after spending the month of November growing their facial hair to raise awareness of cancer.

“We’re all doing it for a good cause and being able to raise that awareness throughout Springfield and do our part here,” said Harry Zolnierczyk. “It may only have been a small contributing factor to the foundation but we’re glad to be able to help.”

It wasn’t just awareness they raised, the team has also raised money to donate to local cancer charities. This past Saturday the team hosted their first “Hockey Fights Cancer Night” where the team wore special jerseys to honor those who have fought this deadly disease.

Those jerseys had special sleeve tributes for 12-year-old Alex Blais and Rachael Kowal who tragically lost their battles with cancer earlier this year.

“Everybody needs to help, everybody needs to fight,” said Wayne Blais, father of Alex Blias. “It’s not something you could just sit on the sidelines and ignore because everybody is affected by it. I never thought my 12-year-old would end up dying of brain cancer but he did.”

Those special jerseys were auctioned off to benefit “Hockey Fights Cancer.”

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